Sunday 1 May 2022

Ground #364 - Plantation Park

Date: 9th April 2022
Location: Blofield, Norfolk
Ground: Plantation Park

My fourth new ground of 2022 was on Saturday 9th April at Plantation Park in Blofield, Norfolk. The game was Norwich United vs. Hadleigh United in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division.

Plantation Park is off the A47 to the north-east of the village of Blofield. The wider complex is bordered by fields in three directions and the A47 to the south. It has a handful of smaller football pitches with the car park in the centre of the site. The nearest railway station is Brundall, some 1.75 miles south. The club have had a few venues over the years and have been at their current home since 1991.

The sole stand at the venue is on the southern side of the ground. This wood and metal stand is split into three sections - designated seating occupies the middle third and is flanked either side by two rows of benching which has been added atop of original terracing. This stand takes up the middle half of the south with uncovered standing to the left and right of it. The opposite side of the field houses the two dugouts and has a decent sized grass area behind the strip of hard standing.

The western end has hard standing behind the goal with grass and a few picnic benches beyond this. The back of this section leads to a food outlet facing the pitch and a clubhouse including a bar on the upper floor. The club building contains the dressing rooms and a Macron store. The most basic area of Plantation Park is the eastern end which consists of uncovered standing only.

The game saw 5th placed Norwich up against 14th place Hadleigh. The form book was turned on its head during the opening hour as the visitors opened up a three goal advantage. The first came in the 10th minute when Joel Glover finished well into the corner of the net. Norwich attacked the visiting end throughout the first half and went close in the 26th minute when a shot from the left side of the box was well saved by the Hadleigh keeper. The five minutes following this saw the hosts peppering the Hadleigh goal with efforts, first a low shot was saved by the keeper followed by a free-kick inches over the bar. This effort saw no reward and barely a minute into the second half the visitors extended their lead when a Joel Glover free-kick from the left went under the jumping wall and past the keeper into the bottom corner. And on 59 minutes the game looked to be won when Max Tate knocked in a third for Hadleigh. Norwich did however grab a goal back in the 69th minute when a cross into the box was hit towards goal by Liam Jackson - despite a defender's best attempts to keep the ball out the linesman flagged that the ball had gone over the line. It was a nervy finish for the Suffolk side when the deficit was reduced to one in the 89th minute as a shot went over the keeper and Liam Jackson stroked into an empty net from a yard out. Norwich had a great chance during injury time to salvage a draw when a ball to the back post found Jordan Buttle but the attacker blazed over and the final whistle went a few seconds later.

Result: Norwich United 2-3 Hadleigh United
Division: Eastern Counties League Premier Division
Attendance: N/A

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